About this Show

The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
03:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Washington 27, Boehner 19, Joe 18, U.s. 17, Us 14, Cnn 13, New York 13, Russia 12, Starbucks 12, Citi 8, Alabama 7, Lisa 7, David Gregory 6, Damon 6, Mr. Mike 6, Howard Schultz 6, John Boehner 5, Obama 5, Nra 5, Syria 5,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    December 26, 2012
    1:00 - 3:59pm PST  

1:00pm
president joined in grief with a community shocked by senseless violence. >> these tragedies must end. and to end them, we must change. >> brooke baldwin, cnn, atlanta. all right. here is a good samaritan story to end on from christmas day in colorado springs. during his christmas celebration, jim stevens noticed some suspicious people carrying items out of his neighbor's home, so he decided to confront them. >> told them put the stuff down. he threw it at the me, hit me in the face, took off running. then the car tried to leave, so i reached into the win at the, put the car in park so she couldn't leave. as i'm doing that, the other lady came out and i was able to hold her until police got here. >> i'm victor blackwell. thanks for being with me. up next, "the situation room" with joe johns. happening now, time running out and pressure is mounting. can the white house and congress
1:01pm
keep the country from going off the fiscal cliff? a dangerous winter storm roaring across the eastern half of the u.s. bringing blizzard conditions and travel nightmares. plus, the nra's controversial proposal to put armed volunteers in every school, we'll go in-depth with the man in charge of the national school shield program. i'm joe johns. you're in "the situation room." the u.s. is now just six days away from the so-called fiscal cliff. and a mad scramble is on here in washington to avoid the drastic tax hikes and spending cuts that many fear will plunge the economy back into recession. president obama flies back from hawaii tonight to be ready if the senate comes back with a
1:02pm
plan when it returns to work tomorrow. and house leaders are huddling with members on stand-by to return. senior congressional correspondent dana bash is following all of it for us. what are you hearing? >> there was a conference call of course members of the house leadership even, they're back in their districts, but there was a conference call today among those house republican leaders trying to figure out if and when the house should come back into session. two republican sources tell me they did not make a decision on this call. it's still up in the air. and a big reason for that is if anything can get done in the next six days, the ball is in the senate's court. the capitol is a ghost town. neither chamber in session. an eerie calm since the fiscal cliff only congress has the power to avert is less than one week away. from their home, senate democratic leaders is trying to figure out if the president's scaled back bill can pass congress at the 11th hour. >> there is absolutely no
1:03pm
reason, none, not to protect these americans from a tax hike. at the very least, let's agree right now on what we already agree on. let's get that done. >> reporter: but to get that done, democrats first would likely need nearly ten senate republicans to cross party lines and vote to effectively increase taxes on the top 2% of americans. some conservatives be grudgingly now say they're willing to do that. >> if we get done to twn to thed that's the only choice, i would support that. but i wish we would have a comprehensive bill that dealt with spending you can entitlements and taxes and you would together. >> reporter: the senate returns to work thursday, but democratic sources say their best realistic chance of getting gop votes is when the pressure will really be on, at or close to december 31st. the last day before everyone's taxes go up. but cnn is told that senate
1:04pm
democratic leader harry reid is privately warning colleagues if he's not sure the president's scaled back bill will pass both houses of congress, he won't even bring it up for a vote. the concern sources say is that a failed vote and going off the fiscal cliff would spook the markets even more. sources in both parties say the most likely scenario at this point is going off the fiscal cliff. why? after january 1st, when everyone's taxes go up, the new congress sworn this on january 3rd could vote to cut taxes. a much easier vote to cast for republicans as well as some democrats. as for the president, is he nhe scheduled to leave his family tonight, come back to washington tomorrow morning, in the hopes of helping his fellow democrats try to find enough republicans to pass his plan. but of course this goes without saying that was a plan that most if not all republicans campaigned very strongly against. >> the most likely scenario is
1:05pm
actually did go off the cliff now. ryan liza is our correspondent from washington. you look at this and we're hearing echos of the past. the republican speaker from the house of representatives said, and i have it here somewhere, i don't want to be critical of john, meaning john boehner, but if you don't ever bring something to the floor without the votes. so this is what happened last thursday night where he brought this bill to the floor, his plan b, and it went nowhere. was that a major miscalculation for him? >> it was. look, denny was the speakner nea different time. he could hand out projects to districts of wavering members. and he had a very tough leadership team that went out and got the votes. boehner is not a strong leader.
1:06pm
he doesn't have the pork and the earmarks anymore since they've been banned. and a lot of the incoming -- or the folks that came in in 2010, the tea party folks, they look at the tom delay are era and say -- >> they're both long time qulil wat capitol hill watchers, and we have to ask you are you seeing any sway now in following boehner? is he losing support? >> obviously the fact that he thought that he would be able to bring the bill last week to the floor to raise taxes on everybody making a million dollars or more and then had to pull it before he even brought it up for a vote, that gives you your answer. the answer is yes. he went out so far on a limb it almost broke off saying he was going to do it, it was going to pass. what he was trying to do i'm told from sources, familiar with the meetings that he had leading up to the decision which didn't go anywhere, was try to save republicans from themselves.
1:07pm
he understands, he's an old time -- you you covered him for years in congress. he gets the realities and also gets the consequences. and he sees the polls, as well, that most americans say that they will blame republicans if we go off the cliff and most importantly will blame republicans if everybody's taxes go up because this really has real meaning to people. he tried to stop it and he failed. >> i think to that point, let's just look at what's happening in the approval ratings for the president of the united states. back on december 15th, 15th and 16th, it was showing approval rating when it comes to handling the fiscal cliff obama was looking at 48%. now it's 54%. john boehner has pretty much held steady, 25%, 26%, what have you. so you look at that and you you s see this crisis, other crises where the president and the congress are in a standoff. is it almost advantage the executive because the president's one guy against many?
1:08pm
>> his approval rating is going up, he should be in a powerful position. unfortunately for him, the house of representatives is not going along with him because they don't care what the president's approval rating is. most republicans that john boehner has to control are in safe districts. i was looking at this before. only about 10 republicans were reelected in 2012 with a margin of under i think five points. so most of these guys are in safe republican sgridistricts t voted against obama and in 2014 what they care about is making sure they don't have a primary challenge on the right. incentives in the house of representatives are for the aligned with what has to get done.the aligned with what has to get done. >> you hit the nail on the head. i'm told by republican sources in a according to the conversations boehner and the rank and file were having, the rank and file were saying i'm not voting for you because they were afraid not of getting beaten by the democrat, but getting a primary. and that is a real fear. >> which is why as she pointed out, things may change after
1:09pm
january 3rd when you into he ovgo over the cliff and it may be a lot easier for bay fler to goeh something through the house.e g over the cliff and it may be a lot easier for boehner to get something through the house. go over the cliff and it may be a lot easier for boehner to get something through the house.go over the cliff and it may be a lot easier for boehner to get something through the house.go r the cliff and it may be a lot easier for boehner to get something through the house.go the cliff and it may be a lot easier for boehner to get something through the house.go the cliff and it may be a lot easier for boehner to get something through the house.go the cliff and it may be a lot easier for boehner to get something through the house.go e cliff and it may be a lot easier for boehner to get something through the house. that may be what has to happen. >> boehner is not winston churchill by any stretch of of the imagination. so if he's not leading right now, who is? >> house republicans? well, who is leading them? look, he's not a powerful leader. those days are gone. we're in a different era now where at least 50 of wi his mems don't care what he says. he doesn't have the mower how p force them to do something. they all ran against raising taxes. and that friday when he went to the white house and said i'm going to do something i shouldn't do, i'm going to propose raising taxes on people over a million dollars in income, that's the first time any major republican has done that since 1990 when george h.w.
1:10pm
bush raised taxes. it's not done in the republican party. and he couldn't get his members to go along with it. >> and that's an excellent point. it's not so much boehner that he doesn't know how to lead. i can't think of anybody who would do a better job. it's the entire body right now and the state of politics where we are. particularly in the republican party that makes it very difficult to lead. nancy pelosi is still able to lead her caucus. she kept every single democrat, everyone the most moderate, she kept them all in line to not vote for the boehner bill. boehner just can't do it. >> thanks so much. really good to see you dana, ryan, thanks to you both. first tornadoes and now blizzard conditions. we're following several severe weather stories making it difficult for millions of americans. holly is at the world's busiest airport, hartsfield jackson in atlanta. what are you seeing there?
1:11pm
>> reporter: well, joe, it's pretty steady here. it's getting a little bit more crowded as the evening goes on. but i can tell you that some people are heading home after christmas and finding it tough to travel today because of that massive storm barreling through the country. it's wreaking havoc on the roads and in the air. snow, ice and high winds. >> we want to get out. >> it's always scary when you're flying that you'll be stuck in the airport. >> reporter: as massive storm it that left many in the midwest and parts of the south with a white christmas is pounding the northeast with briz ard-like conditions forcing hundreds of flights to be delayed or canceled. the highways were not much better as officials warned people to stay off the roads. especially in the midwest where icy conditions made driving treacherous. on christmas day as many as 30 tornadoes bounced across texas, louisiana, mississippi, and alabama. the hardest hit, mobile, where a twister ripped through the city downing tree, power lines and
1:12pm
damaging more than 100 homes and businesses as well as a church and a high school. some were caught on the road when the tornado hit. >> at that poibnt, we just drov as fast as we possibly could. >> reporter: today officials assessed the damage and a cleanup began across much of the south. >> this is a dangerous situation with all the roofs off and the win did windows blown out. >> reporter: the top priority, getting power back to more than 215,000 residents across the southeast left in the dark. we temperatures expected to dip below freezing in some areas, officials say the main concern is keeping people safe. and almost 1200 flights today already have been canceled across the country and they're expecting many more delays. as a matter of fact, some airports are seeing almost four hours of delays. so they're telling people to check at the airport, check your flights before you get there. and as the storm continues to move into the northeast tonight
1:13pm
and tomorrow, there will be more delays and cancellations. we're already hearing that more than 90 flights have been canceled for tomorrow. so the best advice is if you can stay where you are, spend more time with friends and family, don't hit the roads. but if you have to get to the airport, one word, joe, and that's going to be patience. >> four hour delays. that really sounds pretty dramatic. i wouldn't like to sit in an airport that long on any day. thanks so much for that, holly. let's get the latest situation meteorologist alexandra steele is in the weather center. the midwest looks to be blanketed in snow. where is the blizzard heading next? >> it is all heading into the northeast. and so the northeast hasn't even seen the worst of it yet. and speaking of airline delays, in much of upstate new york, they've canceled preemptively the flights out of there for tomorrow and here's why. here is the big snow picture. kind of the snow sweet spot from cleveland through i-90 and in toward buffalo, rochester,
1:14pm
syracuse, so it is all lifting to the north. the same storm that we have seen bring feet of snow elsewhere. so going a little bit closer, you can see very dark white is heavy snow, maybe 1, 2 inches an hour. and right along the lakefront, cleveland, erie, buffalo and points down. so i-86, i-90, i-80, i-80 tonight we'll watch the snow lift farther north and then driving perilous conditions tomorrow. really in upstate new york and western new york. and part of the problem is is that we thought thehave these i strong winds. right now indy gusting to 33 miles an hour. as far south as nashville, cleveland, as well, 32-mile-per-hour wind gusts. and that axis of winds is pushing into the northeast for upstate no, late tonight and really balance of tomorrow. in terms of the blizzard, there's the blizzard warning now. it's down to just a few counties. in north central ohio. and again that's because of the heavy snow falling and the real
1:15pm
limit z visibility because of these very strong gusty winds. in terms of snowfall total, 6 to 12 inch, in excess of 12 it for western new york, upstate new york. so let me show you the movement of this. as we see it wrap up and push northeast, we'll watch it move. here is the area of wlp. here is the time stamp. tomorrow at 4:00 a.m., ohio clearing out. and then still into western new york and western pennsylvania. by thursday afternoon, 1:00, still new york state, the green and white mountains of vermont blanketed with snow. and friday, it all pushes eastward. >> tornadoes, that's the thick i've been following. we've seen the damage they've done in alabama. what's the latest on the tornado watches in the carolinas? >> well, we still do have a tornado watch posted until 5:00 for right here. it's just the outer banks of north carolina. so the good news in terms of the severe weather threat, about an hour ago was the last time we had a tornado warning meaning one of these storm cells showed
1:16pm
rotation. now the axis of this, all lightning, but this is the outer banks. and that's off the coast now. so that is all pushing eastward and finally the severe weather element of this is all pushing out and it will really just be the snow concern with the winds for tonight and through the day tomorrow. but places like newark and new york and philadelphia won't have snow, they'll have rain, heavy rain, but it's the winds. flying and winds certainly don't mix and that will be most problematic at the airports tonight and for tomorrow. >> that's for sure. and it sure started on cue, christmas. >> it did. and now we have another storm coming together and getting its act together for new year's eve and new year's day that will cross the country. and it will take a very similar path. >> we'll be watching for it. thanks so much. starbucks jumps into the fiscal cliff battle sending a message to lawmakers and the white house via a cup of coffee. plus my interview with the man
1:17pm
in chanlg of the nra's controversial proposal to put guns in every american school. tr streaming quotes, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. try our easy-to-use scottrader streaming quotes. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. i need you. i feel so alone. but you're not alone. i knew you'd come. like i could stay away. you know i can't do this without you. you'll never have to. you're always there for me. shh! i'll get you a rental car. i could also use an umbrella.
1:18pm
fall in love with progressive's claims service. welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance.
1:19pm
hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd. [ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast. [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. starbucks is stepping into the fiscal cliff battle. the ceo is asking workers at washington area starbucks to write come together on cups tomorrow and friday in an effort to encourage compromise. in alert he wrote rather than be bystanders, you and your customers have an opportunity and responsibility to send our elected officials a potent message urging them to come together. poppy harlow recently sat down with schultz.
1:20pm
tell us more about what starbucks is trying to do here. >> the timing is certainly spot on, joe, right, as congress comes back in session from the holidays tomorrow. if it they go to starbucks, they'll get the message loud and clear from their barista. this will be will d.c., is this parts of virginia. they will voluntarily where "come together" to urge politicians to get a deal done on the fiscal cliff before the end of the year. and i wasn't very surprised because howard schultz has been very outspoken. we sat down earlier this month to talk about the fiscal cliff and the risks to u.s. businesses, to the world economy and to the average u.s. citizen if we don't have a deal, if we don't get it done. i want you to take a listen to what he fold me. >> the real difference today versus perhaps any other time in history is that this single issue has a seismic effect on the rest of the world, that we
1:21pm
have never been as connected and the domino effect of a bad outcome here will have significant negative consequences domestically and around the world. not the least of which will be the level -- fracturing of confidence in the united states of america. >> seismic and significant. very powerful words. how could this play out for americans if we don't have a deal? what will that feel like to them, howard? >> i think there will be tremendous personal pressure on people who are going to see their daily lives affected in ways that are hard to fathom, hard to calculate and hard to understand. and that's why i think this is so critical. coupled with the fact that this will have a significant avalanche effect on the rest of the world. >> just to give you some perspective here, joe, he said compared to the debt ceiling
1:22pm
debate, that whole debacle a year ago, this is going to be night and day. that's how much worse he thinks it will be for the global economy if we don't get a deal. so they're putting their money behind this, too. i'll show you a full page ad that you'll see thursday and friday. simple, but there you have it, come together. that will be on your starbucks cup. they're teaming up with fix the debt, which some other ceos have also become involved with, that campaign to get a deal with. they're also teaming up with aol which is also behind this. if you go to patch.com/fix the debt, those are local websites. so big companies getting behind this in a different way. >> all right. poppy harlow, thank you so much for that report. very interesting. he's really getting actively involved and speaking out on politics. interesting to see where that heads. children and firefighters have been targeted by gunman. now the nra is calling for more guns, not less, to keep people safe. i'll talk to the director of the nra's national school shield
1:23pm
program. and david gregory under investigation. did he break d.c. laws in an interview with nra leaders? coming up next.
1:24pm
1:25pm
1:26pm
the syrian regime suffers another high level defection. lisa sylvester is monitoring that. >> well, syria's military police chief reportedly has fled to turkey on a scooter after plotting his escape for three weeks. in a video posted online, a man purporting to be the police chief accuses the government of carrying out massacres of innocent civilians and he says the military is nothing but armed gangs that kill. he says is he defecting to, quote, join the people's revolution. and the recovery in the housing market remains on pace. home prices rose 4.3% in october over last year, that is it the biggest percentage increase in more than two years. near record low mortgage rates and fewer foreclosures are helping spur sale which is in turn is boosting prices. and the world's longest high speed rail line is up and running and it's in, where else, china. the 1428 mile line spans more than half the country linking
1:27pm
the capital of beijing to the southern chinese bloom city. trains will run at 186 miles per hour. and civil rights icon nelson mandela has been discharged from a south africa hospital. 94-year-old former president will continue treatment at his home. he was hospitalized with a lung infection on december 8th. one week later, he had surgery to remove gallstones. i'm sure everyone's pleased to hear that he's doing well. >> thanks so much for that, lisa. in the wake of the connecticut school shooting, the nr after the wants to put armed volunteers in every american school. the proposal facing heavy criticism. the man in charge is here to defend it. plus how the host of nbc's "meet the press" may have broken washington, d.c. gun laws. it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪
1:28pm
becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records will talk to doctors about saving lives. it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. the next big thing? we're going to wake the world up. ♪ and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. ♪ cisco. tomorrow starts here. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind
1:29pm
automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind. what starts with adding a friend... ♪ ...could end with adding a close friend. the lexus december to remember sales event is on. this is the pursuit of perfection.
1:30pm
i'm joe johns. here are some of the stories we're working on for our next hour. a gunman who shot dead two firefighters said killing is what he liked best. and now the investigation may be uncovering more of his victims. plus, are gun owners being treated lie sex offenders by having their identities posted online? and schoolchildren make sure their cancer stricken janitor gets a brand new smile. stand by. you're in "the situation room." children, teachers and now
1:31pm
firefighters are be targeted by gunmen. the nra says one answer to keeping people safe is putting armed security guards in every school. joining me now is asa hutchinson. you're known very well here in washington, d.c. i have to ask you now that you are the point man on nra issues in trying to keep guns out of schools, there was another shooting over the weekend, this one involved a man who shot the two volunteer firefighters. he left a note. it sounded like a very serious situation. now, we know what your solution is to guns in schools. but what's your solution to that? >> well, you describe mes as point man. it is the point person for school safety issues. and so there's a larger debate that will take place in terms of whether there should be additional restrictions on large
1:32pm
ammunition clips or so on further restrictions. my focus is on the safety side of things and that's been my mandate is to look at schools, what more can be done, part of it would be a solution of an armed presence, which we have in one-third of our schools. what a tragedy it was with the fire personnel as devastating and as incredible that one human being can even think in those terms. so that's a tragedy that i'm sure will continue to be investigated. >> back in the day, you were the dea administrator, but right now there is so much talk in washington about the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and fire arms. one ever the questions they raise is why there isn't a national gun registry. do you think there should be one? >> again, that's not my focus, but that's not something i think is a solution.
1:33pm
whenever you look at a national dwa ta database, one of the concerns as a result of the shooting we saw in connecticut and the concern about the mentally ill, those who have been declared mentally ill, there's not a national database for them either that we have all the states putting in information. and so we have some weaknesses in our system all across the board it that needs to be examined. one of them being that. again, joe, my limited responsibility which is a vast responsibility is looking at real solutions for safety. and i believe that when you're looking at the challenge of schools, whether you're protecting a shopping mall or whether you have an armed person that a police officer is off duty that churches, why would we not think it logical that we protect the children of our nation in a school environment. it can be gun consistent with their learning atmosphere and
1:34pm
that's my challenge to bring experts together to accomplish that. >> you were part of the news conference on friday. i want to play you a little bit of what wayne lapierre had to say there. >> the truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. people that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. >> of course he's the executive vice president of the nra. i have to ask you, when you listen to that sound bite, the question that rings in my head is whether he just arctic you could y arctic could you lawsuited a good reason for gun control as opposed to against gun control. what's your view? >> i think you have to put guns
1:35pm
in the hands of the right people. for example, hunters obviously have a need for their own weapons. and there's rec accurareational and so on. but we want to protect our airplanes, our passenger and we've done that with federal air marshalses. we want to protect our society from the mentally ill in places that people are in danger and we've come to solutions in every environment. the schools should not be exempt from that. and so when you look at our school atmosphere where one-third of our schools have been armed presence, i think that you can look at expanding that. to me the objections are primarily a cost issue, a training issue. that's why i want to bring together whether it's the secret service or federal air marshals to make sure that the people in sensitive environments in
1:36pm
schools such as schools that have a weapon for protective purposes are properly trained. i think we can do that. >> do you think that news conference really set the right tone, if you will, for a conference post the shooting in newtown? >> i think they were respectful that they waited. a response was demanded and he articulated the position. he might not have arctticulatedt like i would have. i emphasized the independence of my study group and the emphasis of school safety and i'm grateful for the nra offering a positive solution in terms of school safety and focusing on the debate on that, which i think is the right debate that we have. they'll debate and my former institution of congress the issue of further restrictions. i want to focus on the safety
1:37pm
side of the children and i think that's the right debate to have that will provide long term solutions. >> asa hutchinson, always good to see you. thanks for giving us a little bit of time in "the situation room." is "meet the press's" david gregory in hot water with d.c. police over an interview he does with the nra? we're taking a look at the legal ramifications. as we go to break, a live picture of honolulu. president obama leaving this beautiful day behind as he heads back to washington in the next few hours. for all of you digging out right now in the snow, this picture is for you. [ female announcer ] almost nothing can dampen a baby's mood, when he wakes up dry in pampers. unlike other diapers, pampers has 3 absorbent layers, for up to 12 hours of protection overnight, and more beautiful mornings. ♪
1:38pm
pampers. peaceful nights. playful days.
1:39pm
1:40pm
just in to "the situation room," word that the u.s. will hit its debt limit next week. the treasury secretary timothy geithner has written to congress informing lawmakers that the country will hit its borrowing ceiling this coming monday, december 31st. but the estimates are that the treasury department can keep the country running through february or march. geithner says he will take what he calls extraordinary measures
1:41pm
to keep the country from defaulting, but he says uncertainty from the fiscal cliff makes it hard to say how long they will be effective. the white house and congress are scrambling to keep the country from going over that fiscal cliff. in a gallup poll done just before christmas, 50% surveyed says at the very or some what likely that they'll reach a deal in time, but 4% say it's not too likely or not likely at all . joining me to discuss this, maria cardona and anna navarro. and you look at this thing, i was talking to you, maria, in the break a minute ago, it's really starting to look like the fiscal cliff is actually going to come to pass. >> yeah, it looks that way, joe, which is so interesting because with the news that you just gave about the debt ceiling, it will
1:42pm
make the fiscal cliff look are more like the fiscal grand canyon if leaders aren't able to fix what is about to happen in terms of tax rates going up for everybody as well as making sure that the country does not default on all of this. it's really ironic because if you look at where democrats were with these bush tax cuts a decade ago when i was at the democratic national committee as communications director, there was a visceral reaction against them. and now democrats want to extend these tax cuts for 98% of americans. republicans should just basically declare victory and go home. i mean, it's a little insane where we are right now. >> anna navarro, we've been talking in washington about the idea of so many democrats now supporting the bush tax cuts at least for people making less than $250,000. what's your take on that? >> my take is that it's beginning to look a the lot like
1:43pm
quli cliff-mas. like most americans, i thought there was possible solution that could be reached before december 31st. it's looking less and less likely now. and, yes, we're talking -- we're having a discussion about the bush tax cuts. but let's also remember that just last week, john boehner tried to pass what was the democrat proposal, the schumer proposal, of doing taxes, you know, for people that -- cutting them for people that make less than a million dollars. so what was a very popular idea with democrats before the election is no longer the case. so times change. it's complex. let's hope boehner's back in washington, obama's back in washington tomorrow. the players are there. harry reid is there. let's hope that they get there and for the sake of the country for the sake of our stability of our fiscal well, they get together on a plan that works. nobody will get 100% of what they want. hopefully somebody -- we get
1:44pm
enough of what we want to keep the wheels turning. >> ana, do you think speaker boehner's leadership is suffering while this crisis continues? >> you know, i think a little bit of both to be honest with you. certainly he tried to get something from his caucus last week. that didn't work. that was not a strong moment for him. it was a moment of weakness. but at the same time, i think he looks like he's really trying. and it also paints the picture and makes it obvious that, you know, he's not just negotiating with president obama. he also has to then come back and sell to his own people, sell to his own caucus, which at points may be even more difficult than negotiating with the white house. so it tells us all just how complex a situation we are dealing with. >> now, maria, we were talking in the break a little bit about how so many people just want this over and we did the report earlier today talking about the leader of starbucks actually
1:45pm
asking people to write "come together" on the coffee cups. so do you think this is the kind of thing that has gotten through now to the american public as to how important it is or is it still abstract? >> no, i do actually think that it is something that the american people understand. sadly probably more than what our leaders in washington seem to be understanding at the moment. and in fact, during this election, it was something that they were very focal about, the american people. they want our leaders to put politics aside, to put partisanship aside, and come together to make the decisions, the tough decisions. and it's true, no one is going to get what they want, but people need to understand that president obama did win and he won frankly on the argument that the senate has now put forward and passed which is let's extend these tax cuts for 98% of the american people for those making $250,000 and believe and let's
1:46pm
deal with the rest of this later. that bill is sitting in the senate today. and i actually feel bad for boehner. i agree with ana that i really do think he's trying. but unfortunately, he pulled a political employ this past week that blew up in his face and that could seem to the american people that he put politics before the good of the country. >> do you agree with that, ana, do you think this was a big mistake, a missing judgment when he put the bill on the floor that he couldn't pass? >> certainly it was a wake-up call. i don't think it was a mistake because i think he was attempting to send a message and i think he was attempting to do something. so i prefer him going down in an attempt to do something and move the ball than doing nothing. and, yes, president obama won the white house, but the american people also elected a majority of republicans back to the house. so what we have is a divided government where one of our chambers is in republican hands, the white house and the senate is in democrat hands.
1:47pm
that means that the message the people were sending is that they want compromise. if president obama wants to build a legacy, get things done, complicated things like immigration, not just fiscal cliff, but all things on his to-do list, it requires compromise. and if the republicans don't want to be scenes as obstructioni obstructionists, they also immediate to compromise. we have to come to the realize that the election ises past. let's put politics aside and let's he get things done. >> ana navarro, maria dough in a, thanks so much. david gregory under investigation. did he violate d.c.'s gun laws on the air? jeffrey toobin joins me straight ahead.
1:48pm
1:49pm
1:50pm
an unusual police investigation here in the nation's capital. it started with this interview with a top nra leader on nbc's "meet the press." >> here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bulletses. isn't it possible that if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said could you only have a magazine that carries five or ten bullets, isn't it
1:51pm
just possible that we could reduce the carnage? >> gun magazines like the one david gregory held up are illegal in the district of columbia presuming that was the real thing where "meet the press" is reported. i asked d.c. police about this and i got this statement. nbc contacted the met row poll tan police department inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment. nbc was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and the request was denied. this matter is being investigated by mpd. we want to talk about this thousand with cnn senior legal . jeff, let's just start with the law. we have it, we can put it right up there on the screen here in the district of columbia, the law on ammunition feeding devices. no person in the district shall possess, sell, transfer any large k35s ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the
1:52pm
device is attached to a firearm. for the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that has a capacity of or can readily be restored or converted to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition. so assuming what he held up was the real thing, did nbc break the law? >> it's obvious. david gregory is going to the big house. it's just done. no, this is so silly. come on, i know it's the day after christmas, but, i mean, look, this is a silly little diversion. he was obviously using it for a demonstration. there is no chance that this would result in a prosecution. it's a good opportunity for the washington, d.c. police to point out that it's illegal to possess those sorts of weapons in the district of columbia and i commend them for doing that. but the idea that this could
1:53pm
lead to a prosecution is just absurd. >> so the next question, i think you probably ask your lawyers and if you went to the metropolitan police department and asked them about it, there is some suggestion that perhaps they also went to atf, as well. figure the d.c. poce gave them one story, no, you can't do that. atf said, yes, you can. does that help anything, does it make any difference at all? >> that would make a huge difference if you got conflicting advice as a representative of the press. you are certainly not going to be accused of committing a crime if a federal agency told you it was okay to do it. and just putting all that aside, for a prosecution, you need a prosecutor. in this case the u.s. attorney's office in the district of columbia. to exercise prosecutorial discretion and say this is a case we want to bring. there is simply no way that reasonable prosecutors like the
1:54pm
federal prosecutors in washington would say we need to prosecute david gregory or anyone at nbc for this case. however, it is worth pointing out, joe, that this illustrates that guns are portable. nbc studios are about a 15 minute drive across the potomac river to virginia where it's very legal to buy and possess many kinds of weapons where it's not illegal -- where it is illegal in washington. so the fact that it is so easy to get these magazines and that they are legal in much of the country, that's i think an important point and that's the point that david gregory was trying to illustrate. >> d.c. has had very strict gun laws and we know about the heller case that went to the supreme court. does that play into this will conversation at all? >> well, it does because the held are case as you points out in 2008, that was the very important supreme court decision that said the second amendment
1:55pm
gives individuals the right to bear arms. and justice scalia's opinion said the firearms at issue in that case were handguns in the home for self protection. the question of what other handguns -- what other guns, what other firearms are protected by the second amendment is very much up in the air at this point. and so the idea of how many weapons a state or the district of columbia or the federal government can prohibit is an unsettled legal question at this point. justice scalia said certainly the government can regulate big weapons, but just what that means. and i think that's one of the subjects you'll hear a lot about when congress starts talking about gun control when it reconvenes next month. >> a very gray area. thanks so much. always good to see you, jeff toobin. >> merry christmas. a chilling letter left behind by the gunman and arsonists who unleashed a deadly
1:56pm
attack on firefighters. and a newspaper publishes the names and addresses of gun objectors. add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. share brotherly love. share one up's. mom ? mom ? the share everything plan. lets your family share a pool of data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. now get a lucid by lg, free. it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing.
1:57pm
and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here.
1:58pm
cisco. a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive. now, here's one that will make you feel alive. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
1:59pm
toyota making a major announcement. lisa sylvester is monitoring that. >> toyota has agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement in a class action lawsuit involving vehicles speeding up unintentionally. the japanese automaker reportedly would install new safety equipment in affected cars. multiple tests confirmed the safety of its control systems, but it says it wanted to, quote, turn the page on this issue. a federal judge must approve the deal. george h.w. bush is in guarded condition, but says the 88-year-old is in good spirits. he had been in the hospital for over a month, initially beitrea
2:00pm
for bronchitis. and under egypt's newly approved constitution, the council will have legislative powers until a lower house is elected. signed in to law, the controversial charter was approved in two weekend rounds of voting. the turnout was just 32%. critics say the constitution excludes minority rights and supporters say boosts egypt's political stability. and russia's upper house of parliament has approve adverse hal measure banning address adoption of russian children by americans. the legislation goes to putin for signing. this move is seen as retaliation for a law president obama signed earlier this month imposing travel and human rights restrictions. and i'll have a full report on this story later in our 6:00 p.m. hour. every year they have about 1,000 children adopted from russia by americans, but all of that could be put on hold.
2:01pm
and it's a unclear also what's going to happen to the cases pending. but again, we'll have much more on the story coming up at 6:00 so people can tune in again. >> can't wait to see it. thanks so much. you're in "the situation room." happening now, a pair of wounded firefighters. welcome to our viewers around the world. you're in "the situation room."
2:02pm
we begin with today's heart if the dealt thank you from survivors of a christmas eve shooting. j the firefighters had just arrived at a burning home when a sniper opened fire severely wounding them and killing two of their comrades. the sniper took his own life and his sister's body was found in the burned out home. today the wounded men put out a statement saying they're humbled and a bit overwhelmed by the national outpouring of concern. poppy harlow joins us now with the latest on the shooting investigation including a chilling letter left by the gunman. >> joe, police describe this as a, quote, raging inferno. as you said, these four firefighters first responders coming on monday morning christmas eve to address typical house fire, then they were immediately shot at. two were killed. two were severely injured. and police now are saying that they believe that the gunman
2:03pm
left a letter. now, the gunman, 62-year-old william spangler, long criminal history, convicted in 1981 of killing his grandmother, served time in new york prison until 1998 when he was released. and then he was on parole until 2006. and then this. but i want to you listen to the letter that spengler left behind after killing himself by shooting himself in the head. it is incredibly disturbing. >> i will read to you one of the sentences out of the two or three page typewritten note that really clearly goes to his intent. while the note does not go to motive. "i still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood i can burn down and do what i like doing best, killing peop people." >> and police say that this man
2:04pm
william spengler had three guns on him, revolver, shotgun and bushmaster .223, the same type of gun used in the newtown shooting. joe, no motive is known at this time, but police do believe that they have found the remains of this man's 67-year-old sister, cheryl spengler, in the house that he set fire to and burned down. >> poppy, i understand there was a vigil held for the firefighters. could you talk about that and also tell us more if you know about the firefighters shot and injured. >> sure. the two that did survive very brave people, they're in the local hospital, they are in guarded condition which means they're still in the icu, but the doctors do expect that they will remain. as of yesterday, they were alert and talking, which is a good sign. but i also want to show you the two that were murdered on monday. lieutenant mike chiapperini and
2:05pm
his colleague, tom cakaczowka. chip reapperini was also a poli officer and was named firefighter of the year by his colleagues, both very brave men and then we'll show you video of the vigils that were held for the two men yesterday in webster, new york. colleagues saluting their fellow firefighters. tears in the eyes. and an unbelievable tragedy that is shooting like this happens. >> absolutely. thank you so much. the christmas eve shootings in upstate new york coming so soon after the massacre in newtown reinforces the nationwide debate over gun violence and gun rights. but the debate turned toout rage for thousands of gun permit holders north of new york city when a newspaper published their names and addresses for an article called the gun owner next door.
2:06pm
brian todd is here with more. this is an interesting story. >> and it was the interactive map that accompanied the article that has drawn so much controversy with just a couple of clicks. you can see who in two large counties may well have guns in their home and you can also figure out who may not. it's a local suburban newspaper with a large circulation. gun control is foremost in the minds of their readers, so they published on an interactive map information on where all handgun permit owners in the new york counties of wednesday chester and rockland live. >> all you have to do is stoom into a neighborhood and the locations of any gun permit holders will show up with red dots. tap one and the name of the permit holder pop up. the newspaper got that data by filing freedom of information requests about clerkses of those
2:07pm
counties. the exact types of hand guns is not on the maps. the maps don't indicate whether the residents actually own guns, just that they're legally able to. and homes with shotguns or rifles are not included because in those counties, those can be bought without permits. but the mauve has brought serious backlash against the journal news.has brought serious backlash against the journal news. >> i think it was a very irresponsible thing for the news paper to do. they were telling barriurglars o the house next door because they don't have a permit required to buy a hand begun in new york sta state gun in new york state. >> reporter: or thieves will know where to get the guns. at this store in virginia, i spoke to a gun owner. would you be less likely to by a weapon knowing your name and address could be published? >> no. >> reporter: why not? >> if it's a matter of public record, anybody can find out anyway. >> reporter: the newspaper also
2:08pm
has considerable support for the maps. in a tweet to cnn, a recent department of westchester county said parents have a right to know. another tweet, please thank fem for me. this could be a turning point. i do not want my daughter playing in a house with guns. privacy advocate says this. >> well, for the news organization, i think it's a clever use of public information. certainly provides something that people are interested in knowing. but for gun other thanes of course it raises a concern because information that they thought would be kept private has now been made public. >> reporter: the editors and publisher declined our request for and on camera interview, but they said our reareds are under fwli and keenly interested to know about who owns guns in their neighborhoods. we felt sharing information about gun permits in you'our ar was important. >> but the tables have sort of been turned on the news paper anyway. >> that's right. an attorney has posted information on his blog that
2:09pm
includes the home addresses, the phone numbers and in some cases google zoom maps and even pictures of the homes of the editor of that newspaper, a roert a reporter and the visual editor. this attorney saying it was dangerously risky no them to publish the names and addresses of the gun permit holders. so he basically responded in kind and published their addresses on his blog. so it's getting ugly. >> thanks so much, brian todd. we now turn to a significant loss for the regime of syrian president assad, his country's military police chief just switched sides and joined the rebels. mohammed is monitoring the situation from lebanon and joins us live. >> reporter: joe, the day began with news that major general, chief of military place in syria, had defected, had decided to join as he called it the people's uprising. he posted a video in which he stated his reasons for why he
2:10pm
was defectsing, one of which was that the syrian military had betrayed the ideal as of syria and gone after the syrian people. now, we heard from rebel-free syrian army members throughout the day that in fact the fsa had helped transport the major general across country lines from syria into turkey. they say is he safe, that is he in turkey. they've also said they're willing to help other military officials in syria defect, but that they wouldn't be willing to help for much longer. the rebels feel they are the upper hand. they're saying that it's only a small window of time, they're giving other military officials in syria to defect, otherwise they won't look kindly upon their actions. the rebels believe they have the wind at their back, that they're gaining momentum. we've not yet heard a lot of detail from the general about what kind of intel ligence he my have. >> and just another terribly sad story that we're hearing coming out of there. you've learned of a story involving twins getting killed?
2:11pm
>> reporter: this is absolutely horrific and really shows the tragic human toll, the cost of the syrian civil war. this is an amateur video posted online just a few hours ago. we spoke to the citizen ju journalist who shot this and it show as grief stricken and frantic father looking for the bodies of his two twin sons. toddlers. we're told that the mother of these two boys put them on the roof of the house so that they would get warm in the sun, they could play on a blanket up there, and that a few minutes after that there was air raid in that town and because of the she willing shelling, their bodies were destroyed. this video is absolutely heart breaking. not only do you see the father going around trying to find body parts of his two sons, but you also hear the voice of the mother wailing in ning onwailin camera. at least five kids were killed
2:12pm
in that air raid today. >> just unthinkable. a major winter storm is plastering the eastern u.s. with snow and ice this afternoon. the same storm spawned tornados that have hundreds of people picking up the pieces today while thousands more shiver in the cold with no electricity. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans.
2:13pm
[ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪
2:14pm
wild winter weather carrying heavy snow, rain and even tornadoes is making things far from merry for travelers. three were killed in arkansas, texas and oklahoma because of the storms. people in alabama spent christmas dodging twisters like this one. more than 30 tornadoes swirled out of the system across alabama
2:15pm
and other parts of the south last night. hundreds of thousands of customers in several states have no power. look at this damage in mobile where the city's historic murphy high school took a terrible hit. school officials are already assessing the destruction to the city landmark. some say it is in a word totaled. we go now alabama and reporter christina leavenworth of w.e.a.r. at the demolished school. >> reporter: joe, the damage is widespread. emergency management officials say the tornado touched down in five different spots. the hardest hit here at murphy high school. behind me is the the athletic facility and this is where baseball players and football players would work out and practice. completely destroyed. a mangled mess. and over here, check this out, this used to be classrooms. several portable classrooms. it looked like it exploded. you can make out desks and
2:16pm
chairs and books. but you what really gives you an idea of how strong the tornado was, many of the items in both buildings flew more than two football fields over in to the main building. we saw sheets of plywood slam into the cafeteria. so a lot of damage, especially roof damage. windows have completely shattered. and the band hall literally picked up off of the structural wall, moved over, set back down so we do see some gaping holes over there. >> joining me now by phone is the the person in charge of that destroyed school, marsha peak. superintende superintendent, just how bad is the damage there? >> it's very far reaching. it has affected most of the buildings on campus. certainly we are very thankful, though, that we were closed for the holiday and we dwnt have any injuries or any deaths because we had no one on campus at the
2:17pm
time. >> so you're on holiday break. when will students be returning to the school? >> students are scheduled to return to school next wednesday january 3rd. so we have a lot of planning and a lot of work to do between now and opening school next wednesday. we have several plans in place. students may return to the campus if we have usable buildings that are certified safe. if not, we'll make other arrangements. but we want to get our students back this class next wednesday. >> let's talk a little bit about the rebuilding process that you're obviously going to have to go through. when whether when will it start and how big of a job are we talking about? >> it started last night with debris beginning to be cleaned up as soon as the storm had subsided. it began today. it will be extensive. we're still getting estimates because it is a historic facility that was built in the
2:18pm
mid 1920s. so we have to be very careful about the architectural details there. so it will take a period of time. but it's under way now. we're optimistic that we can have everything back in shape for the school to be completely occupied by the end of this quarter we're entering by march. and then after that, we hope to move forward and have funds secure that had we can restore to its original historical shape. >> marsha peek, superintendent of mobile county schools, thanks so much. >> thank you very much and like i said, we're just thankful no one was hurt. the northeast has been bracing for this massive storm. and now it has arrived. check out this video we got in from cnn photojournalist jeremy moorehead who had to practically crawl along the highway at no
2:19pm
more than 25 miles an hour to get it to us. earlier indiana was blasted, as well. blizzard warnings have been lifted, but there's lots of snow on the ground. jill glaven joins me now from indianapolis. jill. >> reporter: joe, yeah, we're in the south side of indianapolis and this blizzard at this point has moved through for us, but we're still seeing a lot of problems in this area. we're right along one of the busiest interstates here, this is i-65, it goes north to chicago, south to louisville. our traffic at this point is moving pretty quickly, but my photographer and i were actually out on the roads this afternoon as this storm was at its worst. we saw a lot of cars that were going off the road. a lot of people since this is the day after christmas had tried to get out early, maybe had more people on the roads than you would normally want to have during a storm like this, and we did see a lot of people sliding off, a lot of problems they were having. at this point, we've still seen
2:20pm
some problems off the interstate because we did get so much snow in such a short period of time during the day today, people now are trying to go out and get what they need and they are still having some issues here in indianapolis. >> so indiana gets pretty much its share of bad weather. what are people saying about this storm? >> reporter: yeah, it's been a couple of years since we've had a bad storm like this in indianapolis. last winter was pretty mild. we did have quite a bit of warning, we had about 24 hours where we all got a blizzard warning to our phones from the national weather service. but people i talked to today still said that they were surprised at how bad it got and how fast a lot of places opened up this morning, employees were there, and then they realized we really need to get home because this is not getting any better. and i want to show you real quick before we go back, we're actually next to a semi-truck that got stuck right next to our live shot location. so this is an indication that we still have a lot of snow on the ground and we're still having a lot of problems out here.
2:21pm
>> looks pretty rough. thanks so much for that, jill. five time baseball all-star is in trouble with the law. in a minute, we'll tell you why police arrested andrew jones. and think you can guess which movie won the christmas battle at the box office? the answer is coming up.
2:22pm
welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd.
2:23pm
2:24pm
who goes around and comes around in japanese politics. lisa still investigation sister monitoring that and other for that stories. hi, there, joe.sister monitoring that and other for that stories. hi, there, joe. japan has another new prime minister. he was elected today by the japanese parliament as the country's seventh prime minister in six years. he had resigned in 2007 after just a year on the job triggering the revolving job of prime ministers. he wants to defend japanese interests especially territorial disputes with china. and at least one person was killed and dozens more are seriously injured from an explosion and fire in a nigeria
2:25pm
marketpla marketplace. the flames spread quickly and triggered a stampede which caused a number of injuries. and police say andrew jones faces battery charges after a christmas morning domestic dispute with his wife. he posted bond several hours later. jones played for the atlanta braves from 1996 through 2007. and then he bounced between teams until recently when he signed a one year contract with the japanese team. and no surprise here, "les miserables" opening was far from miserable. it grossed $17.5 million on its one day holiday debut. and not far behind, quinn ten tarantino's film with just under $11 million. so it sounds like a lot of people spent yesterday at the movies.
2:26pm
>> i'm going to see both. >> like when we have time. >> yeah. what an epic. those sweeping pictures. >> and it has some great names. looking forward to it. on my list, as well. president obama's christmas vacation will be over in a matter of hours. we'll have the latest inside information on whether he'll get a deal or more frustration when he arrives back here in the nation's capital. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth. i have a cold, and i took nyquil,
2:27pm
but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today.
2:28pm
neural speeds increasing to 4g lte. brain upgrading to a quad-core processor. predictive intelligence with google now complete. introducing droid dna by htc. it's not an upgrade to your phone. it's an upgrade to yourself. president obama is cutting short his hawaiian holiday and heading back to washington. he is not alone. members of congress also are due
2:29pm
back for one last attempt at avoiding the fiscal cliff. the sharp tax increases and across the board spending cuts scheduled to take effect next week. cnn's white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president. >> reporter: president obama will leave tonight, travel overnight and arrive in washington late thursday morning as the senate is set to reconvene. all eyes right now are on the upper chamber of congress as this really is coming down to harry reid trying to cobble together a measure to avert the fiscal cliff. whether that can be achieved is still very much up in the air. as of right now, president obama has gone back to his original demand that the bush era tax cuts be extended only for the first $250,000 in earnings. the white house is talking to senate democrats about what their proposal may look like. but as of yet, neither is in communication with congressional
2:30pm
republicans. and as the white house hashes out details of the reid plan with senate democrats, it's at this moment unclear exactly what form it will take, what it will look like, other than to deal no doubt wheith tax cuts. details may not be released for a few days as they try to get republican support, yes, but also try to put pressure on speaker boehner by moving a vote in the senate closer to the new year. trying to say to house republicans and the speaker take up this bill that we may pass or take the blame for going over the fiscal cliff. joe. >> brianna keilar in hawaii there. there's a fight over what programs to keep funding when it comes to the fiscal cliff and it's not just between republicans and democrats. to explain that is cnn senior political analyst ron braunstein. you talk about in this article that i just read, fascinating, two groups. the brown and the gray. what are the differences between
2:31pm
them and how are they clashing now that we get closer and closer to the fiscal cliff? >> the brown and the gray is a phrase i've been using for the last few years to describe the two giant generations that will shape american life in the coming decades. the brown is the millennial, the most diverse in american history. over 40% nonwhite. the gray is the aging baby boom which is joining the silent generation in a huge senior cohort that is 80% white. and they have very different political inclinations, preferences and different interests at stake in the fiscal cliff and budget negotiations. on the one hand, taxes verse spending and so does the kind of spending. discretionary spending mostly investments in the future. entitlement spending mostly income security for the older generation. >> so who benefits if we do cross the fiscal cliff? >> i think there is no question that getting the debt and deficit under control is in the interests of younger generations so they are not saddled with debt solely for our current
2:32pm
consumption. but how we get there matters an awful lot. if you raise taxes on people at the top, that affects people mostly in their peak earning year, late 40s to their late 50s. if you focus the spending cuts on discretionary spending which is what we've done so far, you squeeze investment thes in the next generation. education, infrastructure, research. there really needs to be a balance both between taxes and spending and then on the spending side between restraining discretionary spending and restraining entitlements which are aimed at today's seniors. >> so many times we've heard talk about generational warfare between old and young. but this is a little bit different. >> right. first of all, there is no -- today there is generational warfare more in the opposite direction. the polls show that young people by and large are willing to pay for entitlements for today's seniors. what's eroded is the willingness of today's senior ares to pay for social spending that benefits today's young people. the federal government today spends $7 per capita on seniors
2:33pm
for every dollar it invests in kids. and the electoral paradox here is that democrats are winning overwhelming majorities over these nonwhite young people. 6 60% of white steeniors voted fo romney. and there's a risk over time if they're not restrained, they can squeeze out spending investment on young people. >> a lot of this sort of reminds us of 1995 or thereabouts when there was an issue regarding the shutting down of the government between president bill clinton and the congressional republicans. it seemed at that time it was advantage president or whoever it was in the white house. is that the same sort of scenario we're seeing right now or is it possible for this president to overplay his hand? >> i think we're defining dysfunction down. i mean, the willingness -- maybe we will get an 11th hour agreement that avoids the fiscal
2:34pm
cliff, but it will be a fairly minimal agreement. nothing like a big comprehensive deal. especially the republicans are having difficulty making the compromises you need to move forward in what is a very closely divided society. what is the alternative? you have a republican house but a democratic president who will be there for four years and a reasonable prospect if hillary clinton runs in 2016, a democrat will hold the white house then. what are we waiting for. in 1997 even, when a democratic president was reelected along with a republican congress, they said none of us are going away, we have to make a deal. that's not really happening yet. >> so tglass is half full for you? >> i think it can still happen, but i felt for a long time there are only two choices. either we go over the cliff and clean it up after, or john boehner has to be a babandon th
2:35pm
that they will only bring a bill to the floor if it's supported. i don't think there is a bill that a majority of house republicans will vote for that president obama could sign. so the critical decision, even if it gets out of the senate is whether he's willing to pass a bill that a majority of house republicans vote against and that wins the majority mostly with swoets fr votes from democ. >> he would take tremendous heat from that. >> there is enormous risk. but the problem is it give as veto power to the most ideological wing of each party. and if the only bill that he'll bring to the floor is one that has a majority of support among republicans, it's hard to see that you will thread the needle to have something acceptable to the president. the difference is that inaction does favor the president and after new years when the taxes go up on everyone, there will be more pressure on republicans to come to his position and reduce them for voters below a certain threshold. >> ron braunstein, always good to see you. >> happy holidays. military investigators say we've reached another milestone
2:36pm
in the long fight in afghanistan. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
2:37pm
2:38pm
a car bomb detonated outside a u.s. base in eastern afghanistan killing a security
2:39pm
guard and two truck drivers who were delivering supplies. the attack comes just days after a female afghan police officer shot and killed a u.s. contractor, an incident that mark as disturbing new first in the war. barbara starr joins us with more on that attack. >> well, joe, it's hard to know what to make of this case, but tragic news of course for an american family at the holiday season. this woman now said by the of a beg began authorities to have an iranian passport.a began authorities to have an iranian passport. they showeded her passport and other identification. she was wearing an afghan police uniform. she apparently went to kabul police headquarters supposedly looking for someone important to kill. at least that's what afghan authorities are saying. and she had a weapon hidden on her person. she brought the weapon out, she
2:40pm
walked up behind this american man and shot him debt. by all accounts the first time we've seen one of these incidents where the perpetrator is a woman. but there have been a growing number of these throughout the year tragically involving u.s. troop, nato troops, contractors and even afghan forces. >> and just let's talk more about how unique this really is. give us sort of the 30,000 foot view. >> the biggest problem they're having probably is figuring out why these incidents are happening. they all seem to be a bit different. there is always the talk could this woman have been a taliban infiltrate tore. could she have had ties to an iranian terrorist group. was she working on behalf of someone else. in all of these incidents, they've tried to figure that out and in many what they've simply found is these are cultural differences between afghan security forces and those that
2:41pm
they set out to hurt or kill. a lot of these incidents we're told have been stopped in their tracks. we don't hear very much about the number of those, but so far this year, some 50 coalition troops, contractors have been killed in these incidents. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you for that. lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room." >> well, egypt's new upper house of parliament convened today. they will have legislative powers until a lower house is elected. signed in to what you, the controversial charter was approved in two weekend rounds of voting but turnout was just 32%. critics say the constitution excludes minority rights. and the recovery in the housing mar are ket remains on pace. home prices up 4.3% in october over last year. that is the biggest percentage increase and n. more than two years. near record low mortgage rates
2:42pm
and fewer foreclosures are pepping spur saleses which is boosting prices. and the world's longest high speed rail line is up and running in china. the 1428 mile line spans more than half of the country linking the capital of beijing to the southern chinese boom city. trains will run at 186 miles an hour on average and china aims to have more than 74,000 miles of high speed rail line by the year 2020. and civil rights icon nelson man legal today hdela has beencm the hospital. he had a lung infection. he'll continue treatment at home. that man is the definition of resilience. >> 94 years old. but is he doing well and he's out of the hospital and i'm sure a lot of folks are happy to hear
2:43pm
that. >> thanks, lisa. a school custodian in missouri got an extra special christmas present. see how some students and their parents gave him back his smile. p from the u.s. postal service. we'll even drop off boxes if you need them. visit usps.com pay, print, and have it picked up for free. any time of year. ♪ nice sweater. thank you. ♪
2:44pm
2:45pm
2:46pm
some missouri stuchbtss and parents came up a touching christmas present for a, worry at their school. kshb has the story. ♪ >> reporter: you can see it on their faces. and these kids have one guy in mind. >> mr. mike. >> it's almost a legend. >> reporter: who is mr. mike? >> that's me. >> reporter: for seven year, mike has kept the school in order as custodian. he doesn't mind the work. and he loves the kids. >> i've seen one group go from kindergarten go all the way through. >> mr. mike is one of the hardest custodians i've ever seen work. >> reporter: he's a friendly force, whether a helping hand at lunch or the smile that greets kids every day. >> i try to know as many of them as i can. >> reporter: but the last three years have been tough on mr.
2:47pm
mike. >> i try not to think about it. from getting the initial diagnosis of cancer. >> reporter: tonsil cancer didn't take his life, but it did take his teeth. mike thought he might never get teeth at all facing a more than $4,000 bill for a complete mouth makeover. mr. mike's smile started fadesing. a prayer group of school moms wouldn't have it. >> we wanted to bring that smile back. and for him to be able to eat again. >> reporter: so what started as a list of friends -- >> 160 families give $25, we can do this. >> reporter: turned in to a facebook movement. smiles for mike. >> the next morning, i couldn't get out of my pajamas because people were coming to the door to give checks. >> reporter: the kids sold candy grams, many of them sent to mr. mike himself. >> a little girl here said we thank you for working your soul out for us. and that just -- that gets to
2:48pm
you. >> reporter: and so does this. the kids raised hundreds of dollars selling candy grams. the dentist heard and cut his bill in half. add that to the donations that poured in from as far as colorado -- >> $6750. >> reporter: so four days ago, he got his new smile. >> i think it's really happy that he gets to smile again. >> it's your soul. i mean, your smile is the gateway to who you are. it's beautiful. >> i'm practicing my smile, yeah, trying to get it back. >> reporter: what does it look like now? and that is something to smile about. >> thanks to khsb for filing that report. mr. mike's smile isn't the only christmas present making news today. there are two things you need to know before we show you a video that's going viral. next month notre dame plays alabama in college football's
2:49pm
national championship game and one particular crimson tide fan surprised his dad with a ticket to the big game. his reaction is one for the ages. check this out. >> hot diggity dog. i needed this. i like it. >> what size is it? >> fits, i guess. >> we're going to the game, pop! we're going to the game! >> wow. >> all of us? >> no, just me and you. >> wow. the big game, of course, is
2:50pm
january 7th. it turns out the just completed holiday shopping season wasn't nearly as good as merchants had hoped it would be. despite the recovering economy, sales were only up a little over last year. cnn's alison kosik has a closer look. >> it's only the day after christmas, but the numbers are already rolling in. spending polls says sales from october 30th to december 24th were up less than 1%. that's the weakest in three years. these numbers are early, though, and we will continue to get more throughout the coming days. so they may change, but they're still not a great sign and other analysts don't have high expectations either. shopper track recently dialed back expectations for holiday sales. and the national retail federation says sales won't as . a lot of the blame goes to the fiscal cliff. americans are very aware of the financial implications of it, especially higher taxes. another factor, a spending poll says superstorm sandy hit sales in the mid-atlantic region in
2:51pm
early november. after-christmas spending should help a bit, but the impact is limited because a lot of people using gift cards and making returns. the national retail federation says we typically return $60 billion worth of merchandise after christmas, so early indications seem to show that holiday sales are looking like the rest of the economy, growing but not outstanding. joe? >> alison kosik. as it comes to a close, we remember 2012 as a year of surprises. a south korean rapper gets newfound fame thanks to youtube and rihanna and chris brown back together again? cnn's top ten showbiz stories of the year are just ahead. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand.
2:52pm
"not tonight, britta. not tonight." [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly.
2:53pm
ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app. a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive. now, here's one that will make you feel alive. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg.
2:54pm
say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid. here's a lack ook at this hs hot shots. in thailand, villagers ride motorcycles through flooded streets after a flash flood. in israel, an archaeologist displays clay figurines, unearthed from the ninth century. in the uk, a young rider heads out into the countryside on a pony for the traditional boston day hunt. and in prague, onlookers watch from a bridge as swimmers climb out of a river after diving into
2:55pm
the icy cold water. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. 2012 has been a year of surprises. some good, some not so good in the world of showbiz. cnn entertainment correspondent nischelle turner has a rundown. >> catchy dance tunes, celebrity breakups, and the tragic death of a singing icon, just a few of the topics that had people talking in the world of showbiz. here's a look at cnn's top ten entertainment news stories from 2012. ♪ so call me, maybe >> reporter: the song was almost inescapable. carly rae jepsen's song, "call me, maybe." ♪ so call me, maybe >> the force is now strong with
2:56pm
disney. in a move that caught many by surprise, the "star wars" franchise's fiercely independent george lucas sold his company to the entertainment entire for more than $4 billion. what's more? disney's announced plans for three more "star wars" films. it's the superstar relationship that has hollywood asking, are they or aren't they? chris brown, who beat his then-girlfriend, rihanna, in 2009, said in october that he's renewed his friendship with the singer. but is it more than just friends? song collaborations and vague tweets from rihanna have suggested otherwise. >> they want to keep everyone guessing, and they don't want to explain what's going on with their relationship to anyone in the world. >> the jacksons, their family drama turning into one big reality show. >> more turmoil for the jackson family last summer as michael jackson's teenage daughter, paris, announced on twitter that her grandmother and guardian,
2:57pm
katherine jackson, was missing, forcing a judge to suspend her guardianship of michael's three kids. >> katherine jackson, she's back home. she says she wasn't kidnapped. >> michael's siblings disputed the claim, saying his mother was resting in arizona under doctor's orders. a judge later restored katherine as permanent guardian of michael's children. >> he's tearing on my pants, mama! >> reporter: whether it was a pleasure or a guilty pressure, audiences couldn't turn away from tlc's hit reality show, "here comes honey boo-boo" about a child beauty pageant contestant and her family. ♪ gangnam style >> reporter: rapper psy went to a worldwide phenomenon after his catchy dance tune gangnam style hit the web. the music video featuring the south korean star's song and dance shattered records online, with more than 970 million views
2:58pm
on youtube. but psy's newfound fame wasn't without controversy. harsh anne-american remarks he made during a performance in 2004 resurfaced online. he apologized, saying his lyrics were emotionally charged and resulted from events in the war with iraq. new sexual misconduct accusations against the former voice of elmo. >> in one of the most surprising stories of the year, elmo puppeteer kevin clash was forced to resign from "sesame street," after being accused of engaging in sexual relationships with minors. his lawyer says the cases are without merit, but clash still opted to leave "sesame street" after 28 years. >> i love you. >> reporter: "twilight" stars kristen stewart and robert pattinson had been one of the hottest celebrity couples, until a highly publicized fling between the actress and the man who directed her in sn"snow whi and the huntsman" rocked hollywood.
2:59pm
>> kristen stewart moved out of the home that they share together. she released a very public statement, asking robert for forgiveness. >> pattinson apparently did forgive, just in time for the premiere of the "twilight" is aga, "breaking dawn: part ii" in november. >> celebrity splits sending shock waves through the entertainment world. >> after nearly six years of marriage, katie holmes filed for divorce from tom cruise in june, blindsiding hollywood's biggest movie star. >> what was so incredible is how katie holmes had everything, just so well prepared. >> although holmes asked for full custody of their daughter, siri, the couple eventually settled amicably on the divorce, just two weeks later, ending one of the most high-profile celebrity marriages. >> you're watching cnn, with breaking news of whitney houston's death. >> it was a tragic end to an iconic singer's successful but often troubled career. whitney houston, who battled with drugs and alcohol for decades, died february 11th in a hotel bathtub at the age of 48.
3:00pm
the night before the grammy awards. houston's death was an accidental drowning with the effects of heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. ♪ and i will always love you >> reporter: nischelle turner, cnn, hollywood. don't miss our top ten of 2012 special, cnn revisits the biggest stories o. year. happening now, snow, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. we're watching a dangerous mix of winter weather and frustrating travel delays. a gun buyback and underway. is it making the streets safer after the connecticut school massacre? and starbucks plans to send an urgent message to president obama and congress, along with cappuccinos and lattes. wolf blitzer's off today. i'm joe johns. you're in "the situation room."
3:01pm
on this day after christmas, extreme weather is making travel slow, difficult, and dangerous for millions of americans. severe storms are moving toward the east coast right now, packing snow and threatening tornadoes. the kind of blizzard conditions that hit the midwest are moving into new england. the region could get more than a foot of snow tonight and tomorrow. in the south, a storm that unleashed tornadoes is heading into the carolinas and northern florida. at least three deaths are being blamed on the severe weather. cnn's holly firfer is at the busiest airport in atlanta. >> reporter: it's a tough day to travel. as that storm heads through the northeast, it's making it hard
3:02pm
to travel by road and in the air. >> reporter: snow, ice, and high winds. >> we want to get out. >> it's always scary when you're flying, that you're going to be stuck in the airport. >> reporter: a massive storm that left many in the midwest and parts of the south with a white christmas is pounding the northeast with blizzard-like conditions, forcing hundreds of flights to be delayed or canceled. the highways were not much better, as officials warned people to stay off the roads, especially in the midwest, where icy conditions made driving treacherous. on christmas day, as many 30 tornadoes bounced across texas, louisiana, mississippi, and alabama. the hardest hit, mobile, alabama, where a twister ripped through the city, downing trees, power lines, and damaging more than a hundred homes is and businesses, as well as a church and a high school. some were caught on the road when the tornado it. >> at that point, we just kind of drove as fast as we possibly could to get out of the way. >> reporter: today, officials assessed the damage and a
3:03pm
cleanup began across much of the south. >> this is a dangerous situation, with all the roofs off and the windows blown out. this is just devastating. >> reporter: the top priority now, getting power back to more than 215,000 residents across southeast left in the dark. with temperatures expected to dip below freezing in some areas, officials say the main concern is keeping people safe. and about 1,400 flights have already condition canceled and hundreds more delayed. and that number will keep climbing as the storm moves toward new england tonight and tomorrow. and speaking of tomorrow, if you're traveling tomorrow, we've heard that already, at least 90 flights have been canceled, so you're going to want to call the airport, call the airlines ahead of time, so you don't end up waiting in the airport. the best advice at this point, if you can stay put where you are and enjoy more time with family and friends, do that. the roads are dangerous. and if you are flying, pack some patience to go with you. >> holly firfer at atlanta
3:04pm
airport, thanks for that, holly. president obama is wrapping up his christmas break in hawaii, lisa sylvester's here. >> hi, joe. you know the president clearly has his work cut out for him. president obama is coming back to washington to try to reach a deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff. he now has less than a week until automatic tax hikes and sending cuts go into effect and the way out of this mess isn't clear. here's our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. >> lisa, house republican leaders who are home for christmas held a conference call this afternoon to talk about when the house should come back in session. two gop sources tell me they did not make a decision. it's still up in the air. a reason for that is, if anything can get done in the next six days, the ball is in the senate's court. the capital is a ghost town. the halls are empty, neither chamber in session. an eerie calm, since the fiscal cliff, only the congress has the
3:05pm
power to avert, is less than one week away. at their homes for the holiday, the senate democratic leaders are trying to figure out if the president's scaled back bill, keeping middle class tax cuts in place, can pass congress at the 11th hour. >> there is absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these americans from a tax hike. at the very least, let's agree, right now, on what we already agree on. let's get that done. >> reporter: but to get that done, democrats first would likely need at least ten senate republicans to cross party lines and vote to effect live increase taxes on the top 2% of americans. some conservatives, begrudgingly, now say they're willing to do that. >> if we get down to the end of this year and the only choice we have is to save taxes going up on the middle class, then i would support that. but i wish we would have a comprehensive bill that dealt with spending, dealt with entitlements, and dealt with taxes all together. >> reporter: the senate returns to work thursday, but democratic
3:06pm
sources say their best, realistic chance of getting gop votes is when the pressure will really be on, at or close to december 31th. the last day before everyone's taxes go up. but cnn istold that senate democratic leader harry reid is privately warning colleagues, if he's not sure the president's scaled back bill will pass both houses of congress, he won't even bring it up for a vote. the concern, sources say, is that a failed vote and going off the fiscal cliff would spook the markets even more. sources in both parties say the most likely scenario at this point is going off the fiscal cliff. why? after january 1st, when everyone's taxes go up, the new congress, sworn in on january 3rd, could vote to cut taxes, a much easier vote to cast for republicans, as well as some democrats. the president is now scheduled to leave his family in hawaii and come back to washington thursday morning in the hopes of helping fellow democrats in congress try to find enough
3:07pm
republicans to pass his plan, to raise taxes on the wealthy. but it's a plan most republicans fervently campaigned against. lisa? >> thanks, dana, for that report. there is new evidence that the recovery in the housing market is strengthening. home prices rose in october, posting the biggest annual gain in more than two years. alison kosik has more on that from the new york stock exchange. >> hi, joe. the housing market continues to be one of the brightest bright spots for the u.s. economy. today we learned home prices in the 20 biggest cities in the u.s. rose 4.3% in october, compared to october of 2011. s&p case-shiller says it's the biggest increase in more than two years. the new numbers reaffirmed the recovery in the housing market continues to gain steam. recent reports have also shown home sales, home building, and builder confidence are also moving higher. but here's a reality check. prices are still down 29% from their peak, which was hit in
3:08pm
2006. still, cities that took the biggest hit during the recession are now seeing the biggest increases in home prices. prices in phoenix are up more than 20% from last year. in detroit, prices are up 10%. only two of the 20 cities measured showed a decline in october, chicago and new york, but new york also had a much smaller housing bust, so it's all relative. and at this point, it's all relatively good. joe? >> you know, that's really interesting, because, not all of the signs about the economy are pointing in the same direction. retail sales didn't show so much strength. >> yeah, well, one of the reasons because of that is the fiscal cliff, and national retail federation had warned unless congress gets to some kind of a deal, they were concerned that they would be essentially collateral damage. and sure enough, that shows. but it is a bright spot in the economy. a lot of people feel a little happier that the prices, their home values are going back up again after so long of seeing them go down and headed in one direction. >> a lot of people are saying it's just not the right time for
3:09pm
congress to do something to affect an already fragile economy. we'll see, right? >> that's right. and we'll see also on the fiscal cliff. and the fiscal cliff standoff here in washington is frustrating the ceo of starbucks. he is asking some of his employees to help promote a deal. and children in need of a home are caught in the middle of a dispute over human rights.
3:10pm
people really love snapshot from progressive, but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. with snapshot, i knew what i could save before i switched to progressive. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. you're not filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today. progresso. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
3:11pm
the ceo of starbucks is pleading with officials here in washington to avoid the fiscal cliff. >> and he's doing it one coffee cup at a time. starbucks employees in the d.c. area are being asked to write come together on customers' cups tomorrow and friday. in a letter, starbucks' chief
3:12pm
howard schultz wrote, "rather than be bystanders, you and your customers have an opportunity, and i believe we all have a responsibility to send our elected officials a respectful but potent message, urging them to come together to find common ground." >> let's bring in cnn's poppy harlow. poppy, you spoke with howard schultz recently about the fiscal cliff. >> i decide. he's been very vocal about what he thinks how much harm could wreak on our economy, on the global economy. but the timing of this is very key. congress comes back in session tomorrow, starting tomorrow morning in the d.c. area and in virginia, they're going to write "come together" on your starbucks cup, to try to send washington that message, that you need to get a deal done before the end of the year. let's show people the ad, as well, that they're going to see, in "the new york times" and in "the washington post," coming from starbucks as well. but, yeah, howard schultz has been very outspoken. we sat down for a lengthy interview earlier this month, and he explains to me why he thinks it's so imperative that congress reaches a deal.
3:13pm
take a listen. >> the real difference today versus perhaps any other time in history is that this single issue that has a seismic effect on the rest of the world, that we have never been as connected and the domino effect of a bad outcome here will have significant negative consequences, domesticically an around the world, not the least of which will be the level, the fracturing of confidence in the united states of america. >> seismic and significant. very powerful words. >> yeah. >> how could this play out for american is if we don't have a deal. what is that going to feel like to them, howard? >> i think there'll be tremendous personal pressure on people who are going to see their daily lives affected in ways that are hard to fathom, hard to calculate, and hard to understand. and that's why i think this is
3:14pm
so critical. coupled with the fact that this is going to have a significant avalanche affect on the rest of the world. >> and he went on to tell me that he thinks that this debacle, not having a deal yet on the fiscal cliff, compared to the whole debt ceiling debate and debacle in washington is night and day, joe. that this is that much worse. >> so, poppy, what is howard schultz up to here? it seems like he's been more and more vocal about politics. is he planning on running for something? >> that's a great question. it's one i ask him every time i interview him. and he insists every time, no, he's not interested at all in a political seat. he actually thinks he can be more effective in terms of change in the private sector. so you see him making moves like this. but, you know, starbucks, not that long ago came out in support of gay marriage, in their home state of washington. and then it was about a year ago when howard schultz came out and called on fellow ceos and average americans, not to give any money to political campaigns
3:15pm
in either party, until washington gets its fiscal house in order. so it's interesting, and pretty rare to see a ceo ofa big, public company like this coming out so vocally when it comes to political issues. >> that's for sure. it's a different kind of business model there. >> yeah. >> thanks so much, poppy harlow. >> sure. >> yeah, they always say that they're not planning on running, until they actually do. >> that's always the case. >> happened before. and a new worry for hundreds of american families who want to adopt. we'll tell you what's behind a controversial move by russian lawmakers.
3:16pm
3:17pm
3:18pm
some americans who are desperate to adopt a child are keeping a close watch on russian politics right now. a measure that would prevent u.s. families from adopting russian children is headed to president vladimir putin's desk. >> russia actually ranks third of all the countries for u.s. adoption, just behind china and ethiopia. but the country is now moving closer towards banning adoptions by american families. lee allen and his wife had planned on adopting only one baby from russia, but they
3:19pm
couldn't bear to leave behind a second baby who shared the same crib. >> the boys had already made a home in my heart, and all i wanted to do was go across the ocean, go to russia, scoop them up, and bring them home. and i counted the days. i counted the hours until i could do that. >> today, the two boys, jason and john christian are 13 years old, and this is how they describe their lives. >> i can't believe that i'm here with a family. it's lovely being here. >> i love the family. i'm happy. >> but their adoptions almost didn't happen. about the time lee allen was going to adopt them in 1999, a newly appointed president vladimir putin imposed a ban on adoptions. but that was lifted six months later. now russia, once again, is considering banning adoptions of russian children by american families. the ban was unanimously approved by the upper house of parliament and now only needs putin's signature to become law. the measure is widely seen as retaliation for a u.s. law that imposed travel and financial
3:20pm
sanctions on human rights abusers in russia. the issue hasn't gone unnoticed by the state department. >> american families have welcomed more than 60,000 russian children into american homes over the past 20 years. just last month, we implemented a bilateral adoptions agreement with russia, to improve safeguards for adopted children and their families. >> that agreement comes after a 2010 incident that sparked global outrage when a tennessee woman put her adopted son back on a plane to russia, claiming the boy who was 7 at the time had violent supposed. but russia still remains a popular choice for american couples looking to adopt. these are photos of children and their new american families. the christian services adoption agency says if the ban is implemented, hospitals in russia will be overwhelmed with orphan children. >> translator: i think it's very sad. it's no secret that most children are adopted by people in the united states. children who will otherwise remain here.
3:21pm
i can't even imagine who will take them. i think it will lead to a systemic crisis. >> reporter: but politics aside, it's hard to capture the emotions for the hundreds of u.s. families seeking adoptions and the children who have already met their prospective parents. >> they start to dream. they dream of a family. they dream of a home. they dream of a mom and a dad and a brother and a sister. and then i can't even imagine -- i can't even imagine telling a child that they need to, they need to stop that dream. you know, they need to wake up from that dream, because it may not happen. >> russia has more than 650,000 children in orphanages. and for the american parents who are in the middle of this adoption process, it is unclear at this point what is going to happen to those cases if president putin signs the measure. and as you can imagine, there are a lot of families in limbo, and there are a lot of the children who are awaiting adoption, who have actually met
3:22pm
their prospective parents and now they don't know what's going to happen. >> that's just excruciating. >> it is. and it all depends on what president putin does. does he sign this ban or not? a lot of people are appealing to him, a lot of agencies are appealing to him, please don't do it. >> thanks. a new move to get guns off the streets after the connecticut school shooting. we'll get an update on a buyback in los angeles. how many people are actually willing to give up their guns? ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records will talk to doctors about saving lives.
3:23pm
it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. the next big thing? we're going to wake the world up. ♪ and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. ♪ cisco. tomorrow starts here. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind.
3:24pm
happening now, a gun buyback, amid growing calls for action after the connecticut school shooting. a top nra official defends the group's refusal to compromise. plus, the most popular and
3:25pm
unpopular members of the obama cabinet and the message for the president's second term. and matt damon's legacy. the actor talks about his favorite cause and how it helps children around the world. wolf blitzer's off. i'm joe johns. you're in "the situation room." the city of los angeles is trying to get guns off the streets today by buying them back, no questions asked. >> it's a yearly event, but it's being held earlier than usual because of the connecticut school massacre. l.a. mayor antonio villaraigosa tells cnn it's a way to show frustrated citizens that something is being done. >> they want to act. they're tired of waiting on the congress and on our legislatures
3:26pm
to do something. they feel like there's too much talk and not enough action and this is an opportunity for people to act, to get rid of guns that they don't use, that they don't need, that too often are stolen, and are more often used in an accident than defending themselves against an intruder. >> let's bring in cnn's paul brecamnon in los angeles. paul? >> reporter: joe and lisa, it's absolutely brisk here today. i'm in the san fernando valley, and there has been a steady stream today all day long, of people giving up their guns behind me. we're not going to let you see too many people close up, because we'll preserve their anonymity and the anonymity of undercover detectives, but they have pulled in quite a few assault rifles, assault weapons, and we'll give you a little show and tell right now from a person who works in the gun unit. >> an ak-47 type gun. may not be the real mccoy, but
3:27pm
it's a semi-automatic and that shoots a very large caliber round. a tree sweeper is a shotgun. unlawful in the state of california because of that drum magazine. anything with a drum magazine on a shotgun is unlawful in the state of california. and these here, tech-nines and oozies. >> reporter: now back here live, about 70 assault weapons in all in two locations. they believe they've got about 1,600 guns that they've pulled in. and this was supposed to end about 4:00 local time. that's not going to happen. in fact, a line that extends far to the west over here is probably going to continue well past 4:00. and there's a bit of a risk, by the way, that they may run out of these grocery store gift cards, this has been so popular today. so things going very well here, for the lapd, joe and lisa. >> yeah 1,600 guns so far. paul, some folks, they could just try to sell some of these guns for more of a profit, but they don't. why is that?
3:28pm
>> reporter: i think many of them are just absolutely petrified. when you talk to people here, that the guns are in the house, that they're not sure what may happen to them. we had grandmothers telling us they're worried about their grandkids getting hold of guns. we had a bodyguard saying he had two unregistered rifles. whatever you can think of. people came to give up these guns. and they'll melt these guns down, they might try to play antiques road show and try to sell off some of these guns, but they hate to see what would happen some of these guns. and somebody dumped a $10,000, 1920s german lugar in the bin, along with the berettas and the magnums and all the other guns. >> wow! >> i wonder if they knew how much that thing could actually be sold for? probably not. >> reporter: well, the p.d. was the ones that made the estimate. we've seen all kinds of uniques guns here, world war ii era guns, along with those assault rifles and other pistols.
3:29pm
it's just a whole menagerie. and for a lot of the people who drove up, they had no idea how to safely secure them. and many of them privately worry that somebody, the wrong person, would get ahold of these guns at some point. >> got it. thanks so much, paul in los angeles tonight. gun control advocates aren't letting up in their criticism of the national rifle association and its response to the connecticut school shooting. i spoke earlier with the group's point man on the problem of guns in schools. i asked him about the nra's call for armed guards in schools and whether there should be a national registry of gun owners. >> my limited responsibility, which is a vast responsibility, is looking at real solutions for safety. and i believe that when you're looking at the challenge of schools, whether you're protecting a shopping mall or whether you have an armed person that, a police officer's off-duty that protect churches, why would we not think it logical that we'd also protect
3:30pm
the children of our nation in a school environment. and i think it can be done consistent with safety. it can be done consistent with their learning atmosphere. and that's my challenge, is bring experts together to accomplish that. >> you were part of the news conference with the national rifle association on friday. i want to play you a little bit of what wayne la pierre had to say there. listen. >> the truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. people that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. >> of course, he's the executive, the executive vice president of the nra. i have to ask you, when you listen to that sound bite, the question that rings in my head is whether he just articulated a good reason for gun control, as
3:31pm
opposed to against gun control. what's your view? >> well, i think you have to put guns in the hands of the right people. for example, hunters obviously have a need for their own weapons. there's recreational uses and so on. but when you're talking about for law enforcement purposes, or the deranged that are intent on killing people, we want to protect our airplanes, our passengers, and we've done that in a very good way with federal air marshals. we want to protect them, our society from them, in places that people are in danger. and we've come to solutions in every environment. the schools should not be exempt from that. so when you look at our school atmosphere, where one third of our schools have an armed presence, i think that you could look at expanding that. to me, the objections are primarily a cost issue, it's a training issue, which is critically important. that's why i want to bring
3:32pm
together, whether it's the secret service or the federal air marshals who have experience in this kind of training, to make sure that the people in schools who have a weapon for protective purposes are properly trained. i think we can do that >> do you think that news conference really set the right tone, if you will, for a conversation post the shooting in newtown? >> well, i think they were very respectful that the nra and wayne la pierre waited, the response that was demanded from the nra, and he articulated a position. he might not have articulated exactly like i would, in every way. i said my own remarks. i emphasized my study group and the emphasis on school safety. and quite frankly, i'm grateful for the nra stepping forward and actually offering a positive solution in terms of school safetyi inand focusing the deba
3:33pm
on that, which i think is the right debate that we have. they're going to debate in my former institution of congress, the issue of further restrictions. i want to focus on the safety side of the children and i think that's the right debate to have, that will provide long-term solutions. >> asa hutchinson, always good to see you. thanks for giving us a little bit of time in "the situation room". >> thank you, joe, good to be with you. more tough questions for the nra. the group's president, david keene, will be a guest on "cnn newsroom" tomorrow morning. that's 10:00 a.m. eastern. and president obama has some big shoes to fill, as he tries to replace some exiting members of his cabinet. new poll numbers and more controversy ahead. truth. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth!
3:34pm
[ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months
3:35pm
plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd.
3:36pm
a civil rights icon is home from the hospital. lisa has that and more of the day's top stories. lisa? >> well, nelson mandela has been discharged from a hospital. the 94-year-old former president will continue treatment in his home. former president george h.w. bush remains in a houston hospital icu after spending christmas there with his family.
3:37pm
his spokesman tells cnn mr. bush is in guarded condition with an elevated fever, but says the 88-year-old is in good spirits. mr. bush has been in a hospital for over a month now. doctors initially were treating him for bronchitis and a lingering cough. and toyota says it has agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement in a class action lawsuit involving vehicles speeding up unintentionally. the japanese automaker reportedly would install new safety equipment in affected cars. in a statement, toyota says multiple tests confirm the safety of its electronic control systems, but it says it wanted to, quote, turn the page on this issue. a federal judge must still approve the deal. and "les miserables" christmas opening was far from miserable. the "hollywood reporter" says the adaptation of the broadway musical grossed $17.5 million, on its one-day holiday debut. not far behind, "django
3:38pm
unchanged," and "the hobbit" had just under $11 million. the holiday season is known as a time of giving. so it's a good time to focus on people who are giving back to their communities. that includes some a-list celebrities who are dedicated to charitable work throughout the year. cnn's alina cho profiles actor matt damon in her special series, "big stars, big giving." >> joe, would you believe nearly 1 billion people around the world struggle to find clean water? these are things we are used to, like faucets and toilets. damon is on a quest to change that, and he says the biggest challenge is getting people in the western world to care. >> it's very hard for us to understand. you make up in the morning, if you're thirsty, there's a faucet right there. there's one in fact bathroom, one in the kitchen, and clean water comes out of all of them. >> reporter: but for nearly a
3:39pm
billion people around the world, a billion, there is no affordable access to clean water. more than double that number lack proper sanitation. >> every 20 seconds, a kid under the age of 5 is dying, losing their life because they do not have access to clean water and it just doesn't have to be that way. >> reporter: so in 2009, damon and world-renowned water expert gary white founded water.org. >> we're approaching it differently than many other organizations. >> reporter: their mantra, wells are great, but charity can't help everyone. so white pioneered a concept called water credit. >> so we knew that women in india, for instance, were going and paying 125% interest on loans to loan sharks so they could build a toilet. so we said, let's take microfinance and layer it in here and give people access to affordable loans so they can buy that toilet, so they can get that water connection. >> reporter: depending on where you are, that could mean a faucet in your own home, or a toilet, with clean, running
3:40pm
water. water credit is working. white says loans are being repaid at a rate of 98% in places like haiti. >> that was my first grass runway. >> reporter: what damon and white are trying to eliminate is the need to walk for water, taking time away from work or school. the water's there? >> yeah. all that time that you're wasting, going and standing in the line, you now have to go to your job, it's the difference between hope and looking forward to a better day and an existence that just basically is about, you know, scavenging for water. >> reporter: but how do you get people in the western world, where water is plentiful, to care? >> you know, we've talked about different ways to do that, maybe involving humor. >> hey, there -- >> reporter: take ben stiller. he gets attention for his foundation, stiller strong, by producing hilarious videos.
3:41pm
>> matt damon, he claims water -- >> how did he claim water? is he aqua man? >> reporter: consider this. damon talks about water on youtube, 4,000 hits. the video with sarah silverman -- ♪ who's that knocking at my door? ♪ >> reporter: viral. damon says his strong suit is getting people to care. >> because there's a lot of sort of low-hanging fruit, so to speak. there are so many people that we can help. >> do you see a solution in your lifetime? >> yes, we do. in fact, that's why we're here. >> reporter: water.org has helped 1 million people so far, but as damon says, there's still another 880 million people to go. nonetheless, he says it's a start and it's a good one. he believes that this whole idea of water credit, meaning, giving people affordable loans in places where getting clean water is a challenge is really working. and he says he believes it has the potential to reach up to 100 million people by 2020.
3:42pm
joe? >> for more on matt damon's efforts to provide clean water to people around the world and how you can help, go to cnn.com/impact. a senator arrested for drinking and driving. should he resign or be foregiven? our panel tackles that question, next. share everything. share brotherly love. share one up's. mom ? mom ? the share everything plan. lets your family share a pool of data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. get a sptrum 2 by lg for $49.99 anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
3:43pm
i'm going to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today.
3:44pm
3:45pm
while president obama is working to put together his second term cabinet, two current members are getting wildly different ratings from the public. >> now, let's take a look at our new cnn opinion research corporation poll. secretary of state hillary clinton gets a whopping 66% job approval rating. but only 36% of those surveyed approve of the way treasury secretary timothy geithner is doing his job. >> we're joined now by cnn contributor roland martin and alice stewart. the first thing, when you look at the few people who are moving, we do have a number of big names. we have hillary clinton on her way out. the treasury secretary geithner, possibly on his way out. the cia director's job has to be filled. but what's most interesting
3:46pm
right now is what we see with susan rice, whose nomination was sort of shot down before it even got out of the blocks. and there's some question as to whether the same thing has happened with former senator hagel and his possible nomination as defense secretary. do you think this is a new thing, roland, to shoot down a nomination, when it's just been sort of floated as a trial maroon? >> actually, it's why trial balloons were actually created, to sort of gauge the public, if you will. i still believe president obama should have put ambassador rice's name forward, and he should have dared the united states senate to vote her down. and also, i think, if you look at the administration, they have not done, to be honest, an effective job of really getting the cabinet out in a large way. because you think about the last four years, secretary of education, arne duncan, he had an opportunity to really step out there. secretary of state, hillary clinton, defense secretary bob gates. but you did not have, again,
3:47pm
your labor secretary. you didn't have your commerce secretary, your energy secretary. so he relied on sort of the people just around him. i think this administration and the president should do a better job of getting his cabinet out there, because, frankly, most americans don't even know who the rest of the cabinet members are. >> finer point on it, roland. do you think the president is sending a message that he won't fight for his nominees? >> well, i think what he's doing is, he's picking and choosing his battles, but he needs to understand, the last four years, republicans fought him on everything. he should send the signal, i'm not going to play the games we played the last four years. i'm going to be very aggressive, and if you want to deny me my choice, then you should vote that person down. he should have put her forward, and look, if he wants former senator chuck hagel, put him forward as well, and tell the senate, i dare you to do it. >> alice, that brings up an interesting point. tom friedman wrote an op-ed in "the new york times" today, defending chuck hagel. i want to read a portion of it. he says, "hagel is out of the
3:48pm
mainstream. that is exactly why his voice would be valuable right now. president obama will still make all the final calls, but let him do so after having heard all of the alternatives." so we've seen republicans, like senator mccain and graham lead the charge against susan rice, but shouldn't these candidates at least have a chance to be nominated first, allison? whatever happened to deference to the president to allow him to choose his own cabinet? >> well, i think the process of nominating these people, it's a very lengthy process. i think it's good that the administration is putting people out there, as trial balloons. but it's important to note, i know you pointed out earlier, those numbers with hillary clinton had such high approval ratings. i understand your poll was taken before the scathing report that came out that showed systemic failures under her watch at the -- you know, in her term, leading the benghazi situation, and also tim geithner's numbers are so bad because of the terrible fiscal situation we're in. and i think susan rice, i think the president stood behind her, as long as he possibly could, and just couldn't stand behind
3:49pm
her anymore. i think what we're seeing, already, with the hagel potential nomination, is i think a lot of the republicans are withholding their judgment. they are -- they don't like the way he was critical of the iraq situation. but many of them, what i'm hearing, is they're reserving judgment. but i think it is good for the administration to throw names out there. to see what kind of feedback they may be getting. but we all know that the nomination process is a tough one, no matter who is put out there to face the questions. >> alice, senator mike crapo of idaho was arrested this week in virginia, for dui, and he's found himself now back in the hometown newspaper in idaho, being compared, at least favorably, to former senator larry craig. listen to this and let's look at the words -- oh, i can't read it. all right. "crapo's mistake was not on the same level as former senator larry craig's mistake at a minneapolis airport bathroom in 2007.
3:50pm
it was. crapo could have killed himself or somebody else, which is a lot more serious than toe-tapping in a restroom stall. but there is a difference in how they handed their mistakes. craig blamed everybody but himself. crapo knows the dui arrest was nobody's fault by his own and took the responsibility for his actions." so in the scheme of things, alice, just how bad is it for a united states member of congress, a senator or a congress manni congressman to get popped for dui? >> well, it's bad for anyone to get arrested for dui, and to do it in the first place. i think this calls attention to the seriousness of this, especially in this time of year, when many people are out at parties. but i do respect him for taking responsibility for his action and not trying to get out of it or blame anyone else. but it's not a good thing. and people, and some people have called for him to step down. but, i think if nothing more comes of this, we learned that the seriousness of people drinking and driving and we need
3:51pm
to understand that there weren't more serious consequences. >> here is the deal, i never drank, it is not my thing. driving under the influence is intollerrable. the guy shouldn't resign because he was arrested for a dui. he should go through the legal process. they should be as tough on him as possible, but i don't buy the notion that a member of congress or the administration somebody makes a mistake and it is for guess your career, they are the ones who elect folks and allow them to make the choice. such line that's really based upon that particular individual.
3:52pm
if you look at the case of former congressman anthony weiner, it was the constant lying over and over and over again that did him in, that forced him to resign. you look at former senator craig, the whole back and forth, well, all the different stories. when you step up and took responsibility in this country, historically, you've seen people say look, we're going to forgive you. if i use baseball -- he still is catching hell. andy pettitte, he said i did it and guess what? most folks have now forgotten. >> i agree. i think the repeat offenders we have, politician, continue to do the same thing over and over and ask for forgiveness and continue to do it again. hopefully, he'll learn a lesson from this and won't do it again and remind people we shouldn't be getting behind the wheel when we've had something to drink. >> thanks so much. always good to see you. >> thanks so much. >> thank you. >> this is always what they say,
3:53pm
it's not the crime, the cover up. the lying. >> washington traditions. at the top of the hour, john avlon will look back at the worst political fumbles of the year. john's hosting erin burnett "outfront" tonight. we hear you're talking to a pair of congressmen about the fiscal cliff, john. >> this is true t. we're going deep on the fiscal cliff. we're asking them why aren't they at work and what specifics would they back in a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff and as you said, we're looking forward to it, our top five political fumbles of 2012. it will be a lot of fun wrapping up the crazy political year we've had. >> you do a good job hosting that show. >> thanks, i appreciate that. it's tough losing a e pet, but one man went to bizarre lengths to keep his beloved cat alive in spirit. year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ]
3:54pm
[ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd. by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
3:55pm
aww man. [ male announcer ] returns are easy with free pickup from the u.s. postal service. we'll even drop off boxes if you need them. visit usps.com pay, print, and have it picked up for free.
3:56pm
any time of year. ♪ nice sweater. thank you. ♪ [ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast. [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. there are two things we need to know before we show you a video. next month, notre dame plays in the national championship game and one particular crimson tide fan surprised his dad with a ticket to the big game.
3:57pm
his reaction is one for the ages. watch. >> wow! >> hot digety dog. >> gave you the receipt just in case. >> oh, i like it. >> what size is it? >> fit him, i guess. >> we going to the game, pop! we going to the game! >> now, it's just me and you. >> grandmama! >> what? >> the big game is january the 7th. >> that's like best gift ever, rig right? you've got to love that. and finally, a bizarre tribute
3:58pm
to a beloved cat. it's a little creepy, definitely unforgettable. here's another look at one of the most popular jeanne moos reports of the year. >> lift off. for the cat kopter. a remote control helicopter made uf dead cat. >> i think we should let the cat rest in peace! but the owner, a dutch artist, considers it as a tribute. >> i really loved this cat and for me, this is a way to actually make him eternal. >> his name was orville. he and his brother were named after the brothers. when he got hit by a car last year, he turned him into art. >> since he was already named of a famous aifuater, it became clear he needed to fly.
3:59pm
>> he had orville tax dermied. >> there's a little flap here. >> where gyro scopes, there's a propeller attached to each paw. what was striking during our skype interview when johnson held the copte are r up to the camera -- >> his eyes. >> sending the wrong message to children. >> almost likes like animals being tortured. >> i think it's his own damn business. >> his brother doesn't seem no know what to make of this reincoronation of orville. he says cats dream of chasing birds. just look at tom and jerry cartoons. he said he used to lie on the doormat watching pigeons. it's a macabre way to honor a beloved